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Thread: Property Taxes

  1. #1
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    Default Property Taxes

    Residential Property Taxes need to go down or many people will be leaving for Saskatchewan or small towns.

    Page 7 here: https://www.altusgroup.com/wp-conten...ark-Report.pdf.
    Edmonton residential property taxes going up up up and Vancouver going down.

    Edmonton's residential property tax rate jumped 70% in a decade in 3027. That is a lot higher than wages. City Council on a spending spree with our tax dollars. Edmonton needs some fiscal hawks on Council to roll back budgets and place a moratorium on hiring.

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    How do you arrive at 70%?

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    Someone has to pay, for Edmonton's mayor, and his very green ideas..

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    Quote Originally Posted by EdmTrekker View Post
    Residential Property Taxes need to go down or many people will be leaving for Saskatchewan or small towns.

    Page 7 here: https://www.altusgroup.com/wp-conten...ark-Report.pdf.
    Edmonton residential property taxes going up up up and Vancouver going down.

    Edmonton's residential property tax rate jumped 70% in a decade in 3027. That is a lot higher than wages. City Council on a spending spree with our tax dollars. Edmonton needs some fiscal hawks on Council to roll back budgets and place a moratorium on hiring.
    That makes the assumption that Edm prop taxes were fair and sustainable at the start of the decade.

    Our median house price is close to national average, and our residental tax rates are close to national average (now).
    If $1000 or 1500/yr is all it takes to make you up and move your family to Sask or a small town, you've got other issues.

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    Our property taxes in st Albert, are only $39.00 more than a condo in Edmonton. What a rip off Edmonton!

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    Quote Originally Posted by H.L. View Post
    Our property taxes in st Albert, are only $39.00 more than a condo in Edmonton. What a rip off Edmonton!
    What is the approximate value of those properties? Property taxes work off the value the city assess your property at. So if your condo was 500,000 and you house is 500,000, and you are paying 39.00 more...

    The residential mill rate in St Albert is 10.5%
    Edmonton 8.6%

    Who's getting ripped off?! Looks to me like you bought a property of lesser value in St Albert than your condo in Edmonton.
    Last edited by Medwards; 27-08-2018 at 12:32 PM.

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    Nope, we just had it appraised and its the same as the condo. $39.00 a month more..for taxes. I suspect that will go up, but that's okay, we get so much more

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    Your personal assessment is different than the assessment the city would do annually. The tax rates are higher in St Albert... I'm not sure what 'so much more' entails, but good on you! Go Get it Girl

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    The increase in property taxes and silly things like increasing parking fines makes me feel that Edmonton is sinking in a hole that it can't climb out of. We're looking at options for next year, and I'm hoping for an acreage outside any city limits where my street address is Rural Road ###...

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    ahh yes, the leech idea.

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    What's the leech idea?

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    I've only had time to skim over it but it's an interesting report.

    What I take from it on first reading is Edmonton's current residential property tax rate is pretty average for the country:




    Another quick take away is it's difficult to assess property taxes by the mill rates. For example if property values fall then the mill rate will have be increased to compensate but property owners may end up not paying any more. Because of the way municipal budgeting works your better off looking at the size of the budget.

    Finally, the increase in the last decade for Edmonton is a great bit of cherry picking. The data in the report show Edmonton's rate falling until 2008 when it began climbing again (I presume this coincides with the big neighbourhood renewal push). The report charts the rate from 2003 and you could also say our tax rate has fallen by 20 per cent since then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Turnbull View Post
    I've only had time to skim over it but it's an interesting report.

    What I take from it on first reading is Edmonton's current residential property tax rate is pretty average for the country:




    Another quick take away is it's difficult to assess property taxes by the mill rates. For example if property values fall then the mill rate will have be increased to compensate but property owners may end up not paying any more. Because of the way municipal budgeting works your better off looking at the size of the budget.

    Finally, the increase in the last decade for Edmonton is a great bit of cherry picking. The data in the report show Edmonton's rate falling until 2008 when it began climbing again (I presume this coincides with the big neighbourhood renewal push). The report charts the rate from 2003 and you could also say our tax rate has fallen by 20 per cent since then.
    i'm prepared to accept your summary/conclusion that our "tax rate" has fallen by 20% since 2003 but i need to balance that with the fact that the assessed value of our home is now 221% of what it was in 2003. the lower "rate" isn't much consolation when it comes time to writing the cheque that takes both of those into account...
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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Turnbull View Post
    ...
    i'm prepared to accept your summary/conclusion that our "tax rate" has fallen by 20% since 2003 but i need to balance that with the fact that the assessed value of our home is now 221% of what it was in 2003. the lower "rate" isn't much consolation when it comes time to writing the cheque that takes both of those into account...
    Of course. The point I was aiming for was that the mill rate in isolation doesn't give you a good idea of how much property owners are actually paying. Because of the way municipal taxation works (budget divided by property values) we're better off looking at the what the actual budget is and adjust for population and inflation. Even that is missing things but it least gives some idea.
    Last edited by Paul Turnbull; 28-08-2018 at 07:45 AM. Reason: grammar

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    Quote Originally Posted by alkeli View Post
    What's the leech idea?
    Where you take resources from the city, but contribution nothing to its well being. Ie a person who chooses to live 'just on the other side of the city borders' but still wants to use all the services and amenities of the city.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by alkeli View Post
    What's the leech idea?
    Where you take resources from the city, but contribution nothing to its well being. Ie a person who chooses to live 'just on the other side of the city borders' but still wants to use all the services and amenities of the city.
    Take resources from the city? Like what? I would still pay for utilities, still go buy groceries and electronics, attend sporting events, etc. So I'm still spending money in the city, just not living in it. Same as any tourist. Are they also leeches?

    I think you're confusing "taking" with "buying". I wouldn't be "taking" anything.
    Last edited by alkeli; 28-08-2018 at 11:12 AM.

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    You are using city services regularly (roads, availability of emergency service response, use of tax-dollar paid for amenities like arenas, and other sporting / rec facilities, and other cultural/educational buildings), and not paying property taxes to the city, but what ever county you are just on the border of. A tourist pays property taxes indirectly via the hotel they are staying at, and they are only here for a brief period of time. You can buy groceries, and electronics, but there's no sales tax in Edmonton. It's not the same as a tourist.

    A leech attaches itself to a larger body, feeds off it, but doesn't contribute back.

  18. #18

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    It would be interesting to try to slice and dice taxes according to different perspectives. There’s the standard departmental rollup of capital and operating, FTEs etc but there’s financial perspectives (debt and tax roll and assignments), then there’s the nature of the infrastructure (some like fire and emergency services are more like insurance policies where many never use the services and others like roads are used by almost everyone. Then there’s current vs past and future needs as people age or change locations, etc

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    Pretty sure all the taxpaying Edmonton businesses don't care where their customers come from as long as they come.

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    I'm pretty sure they don't care either... but that's not the point.

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    If that's the case, let's get rid of property taxes. Surely that won't have any effect of the amenities available in the city, would it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    You are using city services regularly (roads, availability of emergency service response, use of tax-dollar paid for amenities like arenas, and other sporting / rec facilities, and other cultural/educational buildings), and not paying property taxes to the city, but what ever county you are just on the border of. A tourist pays property taxes indirectly via the hotel they are staying at, and they are only here for a brief period of time. You can buy groceries, and electronics, but there's no sales tax in Edmonton. It's not the same as a tourist.

    A leech attaches itself to a larger body, feeds off it, but doesn't contribute back.
    Hahahaha too funny... Well considering I work outside the city anyways, I'll rarely be using city roads, mostly just the Henday which is a provincial highway, and just a few hundred meters of crappy pothole filled roads to get to a Costco or whatever. And even if I wanted to, I could drive around the city all day, enjoy the parks, go shopping all I want, it's not illegal, and nobody can stop me no matter how much they cry that I'm being a leech or not contributing LMAO You call it a leech like it's a bad thing lol I'll enjoy the much lower property taxes and sleep much better at night with more money in the bank. Can't wait.
    Last edited by alkeli; 29-08-2018 at 08:02 AM.

  23. #23

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    you do you. leech.

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    Although I agree with medwards basic idea I donít agree with his choice of words. Cities are made to bare a lot of costs that our neighbours are not which is fine, what isnít fine is the lack of proper funding mechanisms and cost sharing of regional industrial tax dollars.

    This isnít a new concern and itís well documented. Itís part of the reason why we have the capital region board and why Calgary wants the same so bad...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    you do you. leech.
    And you do you as well. It's nobody's business where someone chooses to live. But if you want to resort to name-calling, then that just says a lot about you and what kind of person you are. Like I said before, I'll be sleeping well at night.

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    I'm just calling it like I see it. You may not be a leech, but your proposed actions, and the reasons behind them are very leech like.

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    Quote Originally Posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
    Although I agree with medwards basic idea I don’t agree with his choice of words. Cities are made to bare a lot of costs that our neighbours are not which is fine, what isn’t fine is the lack of proper funding mechanisms and cost sharing of regional industrial tax dollars.

    This isn’t a new concern and it’s well documented. It’s part of the reason why we have the capital region board and why Calgary wants the same so bad...
    while it might be easy to agree with Medwards at first glance, there’s a lot of pot and kettle in his accusation. he doesn’t consider himself a leech even though his suburban property taxes don’t pay his share of the cost of municipal services he consumes. he is happily subsidized by the central core and he is happily subsidized by the imbalance between residential and commercial mil rates. his choices and the consequences to a system that is a lot more complicated than he allows for are no different than alkeli’s. if anything, based on the services he consumes, Medwards may in fact be more subsidized than alkeli.
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    I live 0.8 km away from my work. Are you proposing I move downtown Kcantor or somewhere more central? Where I would actually need to drive, and use more city services? I moved from the core to be closer to my workplace so I'm not such a big impact...


    And you live in a suburb too, your abode and its neighbourhood is no different than my neighbourhood, outside of age. So you are just as subsidized as me... except your neighbourhood is older. Big deal.

    This idea that 80% of Edmonton is subsidized by the 10-20% that live central is hogwash at best.
    Last edited by Medwards; 29-08-2018 at 09:54 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    I live 0.8 km away from my work. Are you proposing I move downtown Kcantor?
    i didnít suggest you move. i just pointed out that you donít pay your share of the cost of the municipal services you consume. neither do i. no single family and virtually no residential taxpayer in the city does. which means you and i are no less of a leech - and maybe even more so - for the city than alkeli.
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    I find it quite difficult to believe the net benefit of people working at and supporting Edmonton businesses (who contribute to the city) is outweighed by their use of city services. I would be interested in seeing any research for Edmonton that quantifies that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    I live 0.8 km away from my work. Are you proposing I move downtown Kcantor?
    i didnít suggest you move. i just pointed out that you donít pay your share of the cost of the municipal services you consume. neither do i. no single family and virtually no residential taxpayer in the city does. which means you and i are no less of a leech - and maybe even more so - for the city than alkeli.
    Well, I'm contributing to at least a large share of what I consume. Arguably, alkeli is not contributing anything at all, or very little, but still consuming.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    I live 0.8 km away from my work. Are you proposing I move downtown Kcantor?
    i didn’t suggest you move. i just pointed out that you don’t pay your share of the cost of the municipal services you consume. neither do i. no single family and virtually no residential taxpayer in the city does. which means you and i are no less of a leech - and maybe even more so - for the city than alkeli.
    Well, I'm contributing to at least a large share of what I consume. Arguably, alkeli is not contributing anything at all, or very little, but still consuming.
    For the record I do still currently live in the city's suburbs, the plan is to move out.

    So what am I consuming exactly that I don't pay for? If I'm going into the city, it's to shop and spend money at Edmonton businesses. I pay exactly all the same things as everyone else except for the overprices property taxes. Smart choice if you ask me. Do I feel guilty about it? Not at all, and no amount of immature name calling will. I still spend money in the city and have season tickets to the Esks, Oilers and Broadway Across Canada at the Jubilee. All for which I also pay for my own parking by the way.

    Maybe you should suggest building a wall around the city and Trump up this city so that everyone from Morinville, Gibbons, Devon, Leduc, Sherwood Park, St Albert and all the other small towns won't be able to enter the city without paying a toll for the privilege of entering a city for which they don't pay anything towards. How dare they enter our city to spend money and purchase good or go see a doctor, shame on them. I guess that's the kind of city you want.

    Thankfully you're not running the show, and I couldn't care less what you think.
    Last edited by alkeli; 29-08-2018 at 10:44 AM.

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    I really resent the leech idea.

    I'm outside the city, yet have spent hundreds of thousands of my own dollars promoting and doing what I can to take this place to the next level. The return I get from the city is significantly less than my investment, unless broken promises and finding the easy no have value I can take to the bank.

    Add the huge industrialization out my way that completely eviscerates my land value, yet all this is allegedly going to make Edmoton better, and I have two words for anyone who says I don't pay my fair share.

    The balance of trade between me and the CoE is grossly one sided.
    Tired of being taken advantage of .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    I live 0.8 km away from my work. Are you proposing I move downtown Kcantor?
    i didn’t suggest you move. i just pointed out that you don’t pay your share of the cost of the municipal services you consume. neither do i. no single family and virtually no residential taxpayer in the city does. which means you and i are no less of a leech - and maybe even more so - for the city than alkeli.
    Well, I'm contributing to at least a large share of what I consume. Arguably, alkeli is not contributing anything at all, or very little, but still consuming.
    if you are both contributing equally to edmonton businesses in your employment and your shopping habits and those businesses are in turn supporting and subsidizing edmonton home owners, then a case could be made for alkali subsidizing your taxes, not the other way around. he is contributing an equal share of the subsidies given to what you consume but the reverse is not true [at least after he implements his plan to leave the city].
    Last edited by kcantor; 29-08-2018 at 11:31 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS View Post
    I really resent the leech idea.

    I'm outside the city, yet have spent hundreds of thousands of my own dollars promoting and doing what I can to take this place to the next level. The return I get from the city is significantly less than my investment, unless broken promises and finding the easy no have value I can take to the bank.

    Add the huge industrialization out my way that completely eviscerates my land value, yet all this is allegedly going to make Edmoton better, and I have two words for anyone who says I don't pay my fair share.

    The balance of trade between me and the CoE is grossly one sided.
    you raise another issue that hasn't so far been brought in to this conversation other than in the context of previous comments that the whole taxation issue is not as simple as some would like to make it.

    within the city commercial and industrial ratepayers subsidize residential ratepayers and that's typical for must municipalities. there's nothing wrong with that other than when the recipients of that benefit don't want to acknowledge it.

    there is a second imbalance regionally when you have large industrial users including those you reference in your neighborhood and those on refinery row and through the heartland that pay their share locally but certainly don't pay their share regionally. that's because the jurisdiction to which they pay often have relatively small expense bases and their share is less than it would be regionally or of they were in the city itself. this is perhaps an even larger issue than the local cross subsidizations because while they still contribute to that, the smaller overall tax base to which they are contributing means their taxes are disproportionately less than what they probably should be. the result here is that not only are their large taxpayers outside the city, those expected to continue to pay their share within the city are constantly lured to locations outside the city in order to reduce their tax burden which exacerbates the problem on two fronts.

    as previously noted, this is not a simple issue and there are lots of unintended consequences embedded within it as you so aptly pointed out.
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  36. #36

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    so why don't we all do what alkeli plans to do? Lets all move outside of the city borders to avoid paying taxes, and still get the benefit of being part of a big city, without having to pay for it. Detroit 2.0

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    ...better yet, how about Edmonton actually eat its own dogfood and have a regional conversation about regional benefits where we speak as one?

    Moving out of the city does not mean people don't pay taxes. If we extend your hypothetical, then the new jurisdiction that would be created would have to pony up for new infrastructure and the cycle repeats.

    If this is to be a regional conversation as people constantly allude to, then Edmonton needs to be prepared to make it a true 2 way street. As of now, Edmonton does not. It gladly asks for money from others, but then plays the jurisdiction card when the opposite comes forth - at least in my experience. It is a lot more nuanced Medwards than how it is sometimes presented. I know my views are a lot different on this in 2018 than they were in 2000...given the experiences I've had with this forum, and with other initiatives. This resident is bearing 100% of the costs of services, plus 100% of the reduction in value due to industrialization, so you're going to have a hell of a time convincing me that Edmonton is somehow being taken advantage of...
    Tired of being taken advantage of .

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    (…)

    there is a second imbalance regionally when you have large industrial users including those you reference in your neighborhood and those on refinery row and through the heartland that pay their share locally but certainly don't pay their share regionally. that's because the jurisdiction to which they pay often have relatively small expense bases and their share is less than it would be regionally or of they were in the city itself. this is perhaps an even larger issue than the local cross subsidizations because while they still contribute to that, the smaller overall tax base to which they are contributing means their taxes are disproportionately less than what they probably should be. the result here is that not only are their large taxpayers outside the city, those expected to continue to pay their share within the city are constantly lured to locations outside the city in order to reduce their tax burden which exacerbates the problem on two fronts.

    as previously noted, this is not a simple issue and there are lots of unintended consequences embedded within it as you so aptly pointed out.
    exactly. this is yet another nuance that is not taken into account, yet continues to rear its head in the annexation/regional co-operation conversations. It loops and loops around but never has any concrete solutions...

    I can guarantee you Edmonton would have to take notice once they get the bill for the right infrastructure needed to support the millions of tons of yearly aggregate extraction just north of me, and the necessary infrastructure needed for this that should be borne by the region receiving the benefit...instead of having it trickle down to costing me...
    Tired of being taken advantage of .

  39. #39

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    Today on twitter, Ms. Stolte posted this article that visualizes the revenue generated by each neighbouhood in Dallas.

    The key takeaway from the data was that "higher density generates more taxes than it costs in services." It would be nice to have a similar map demonstrating the tax base and expenditures in Edmonton and area.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnugent View Post
    Today on twitter, Ms. Stolte posted this article that visualizes the revenue generated by each neighbouhood in Dallas.

    The key takeaway from the data was that "higher density generates more taxes than it costs in services." It would be nice to have a similar map demonstrating the tax base and expenditures in Edmonton and area.
    i think you might want to look at the map/data a bit more analytically.

    while there is some benefit from higher residential density, almost all of the really higher revenue generation shown is from commercial development. in edmonton, that's distorted further by municipal policy that disproportionately allocates recoveries to commercial properties and away from residential properties meaning the gap here would be even higher. compounding that is the gap in dallas is arguably even higher than shown as segments of their commercial properties are considered underassessed in terms of market value (the exact opposite of what typically happens in edmonton).

    it's also hard to compare the actual taxes paid in dallas directly with edmonton, particularly with residential taxes. while comparable housing is cheaper to purchase in dallas, their tax rates are considerably higher and further complicating any direct comparison is that property taxes as well as mortgage interest are tax-deductible in dallas so there is a lot of "apples to oranges" between them and us.

    i think the only real "key takeaway" for edmonton is that "higher commercial density generates more taxes than it costs in services" regardless of where it is located in the city while "higher residential density may not be subsidized as much as lower densities when it comes to providing services". without making those distinctions, council will continue to make poor decisions and voters will continue to support poor decisions.
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    Also consider that Dallas is very distinctly divided north/south geographically, developmentally, socially, and economically south of the downtown core by a major interstate. It's quite a significant separation that Edmonton doesn't have.
    I am in no way entitled to your opinion...

  42. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mnugent View Post
    Today on twitter, Ms. Stolte posted this article that visualizes the revenue generated by each neighbouhood in Dallas.

    The key takeaway from the data was that "higher density generates more taxes than it costs in services." It would be nice to have a similar map demonstrating the tax base and expenditures in Edmonton and area.
    i think you might want to look at the map/data a bit more analytically.

    while there is some benefit from higher residential density, almost all of the really higher revenue generation shown is from commercial development. in edmonton, that's distorted further by municipal policy that disproportionately allocates recoveries to commercial properties and away from residential properties meaning the gap here would be even higher. compounding that is the gap in dallas is arguably even higher than shown as segments of their commercial properties are considered underassessed in terms of market value (the exact opposite of what typically happens in edmonton).

    it's also hard to compare the actual taxes paid in dallas directly with edmonton, particularly with residential taxes. while comparable housing is cheaper to purchase in dallas, their tax rates are considerably higher and further complicating any direct comparison is that property taxes as well as mortgage interest are tax-deductible in dallas so there is a lot of "apples to oranges" between them and us.

    i think the only real "key takeaway" for edmonton is that "higher commercial density generates more taxes than it costs in services" regardless of where it is located in the city while "higher residential density may not be subsidized as much as lower densities when it comes to providing services". without making those distinctions, council will continue to make poor decisions and voters will continue to support poor decisions.
    I think that you might want to focus on reading comprehension and not putting words in my mouth.

    All that I was pointing out, was that I found the data visualization used in the Dallas example useful, and, I think that something like this would be useful in understanding where revenue and expenditures are coming from and going to in the Edmonton area. I know there are important differences between the cities. However, in the Dallas example, the evidence does demonstrate that if you remove the commercial revenue, higher residential density is correlated with higher revenue generation and vibrancy.
    I would like to see the comparable data visualized in Edmonton.
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    i don't think i put words in your mouth or misread your post...

    you posted that "higher density generates more taxes than it costs in services" and that was what i responded to. if that higher density is just residential, it's an inaccurate statement for dallas and even moreso for edmonton which what i was pointing out in my response. the statements in quotes in that response were emphasis statements by me, not attributed to you or meant to be attributed to you and if you took them that way i apologize for that.

    like you [i'm assuming], i'm in favour of increased density done well for both commercial and residential development in edmonton and the linked data helps demonstrate why we should be pursuing it but what you thought you may have pointed out [and with which i would not disagree] wasn't what you said in our post and i still think making those distinctions is an important one if we are going to make good decisions on what constitutes good development with good taxation outcomes for the city and for taxpayers.
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

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